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11 Year old Plymouth Minivan Trans, Sell or Donate?

We have a 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager with about 142000 miles. The transmission went out last week and the mechanic gave us a quote of $3000 to fix it. It’s starting to have other issues so we think it’s time to get a new vehicle.

It’s otherwise in good condition for it’s age/mileage.

The mechanic offered us $300 cash for the van.

Do we run with the $300, or do we donate it to NPR? Do they take vehicles that aren’t currently running?

If you’re willing to turn it into a donation, check with your local high schools. They’re often looking for vehicles they can train the kids on. They may or may not want a vehicle with a bad tranny.

This forum is merely hosted in the car talk site. I doubt Click and Clack ever look here. Just lots of car enthusiasts, some pro’s, and lots of questions. :slight_smile:


See “Donate your Car” on the Car Talk home page for info about car donation.

I would take the $300 and run. Less hassle, $$ in the bank.

Be wary of mechanics who diagnose your vehicle as terminal then offer you money to buy it… Tell me exactly what the transmission is/is not doing.


If you trust the mechanics take the $300 and move on.

The mechanic is an acquaintance of my husband’s who has worked on the van in the past… you can put it into gear but it won’t engage, it always acts like it’s in neutral no matter what gear you are in

I tried the NPR page on Car Talk but you had to fill out info as if you were actually donating and I didn’t want to put the info in until I was certain what we would do with it

Define the transmission “went out.”

If it’s still movable, take it yourself to the nearest scrap yard. Cars are going for around $0.14/#, and I’ll bet that Plymouth weighs in excess of 4,000.

So that’s $200+ to drive it 5 miles or so.

Ok, here is another thought (after looking at other vehicles and seeing rather large dollar signs) Would it be foolish to replace a transmission on an 11 year old Plymouth minivan? Does $3000 seem reasonable? If I even get another year out of it without anything else failing it would be worth it to not have an additional car payment, but then there is always the concern of throwing good money after bad…

I would look into a used transmission from the salvage yard with anywhere between 6 to 12 months of warranty on it. It should be ~ half of what you are looking at.